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Windows 7: Installing Win 7 on old Dell P3

05 Aug 2011   #1
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 
Installing Win 7 on old Dell P3

I have an old Dell machine that refuses to boot from either a Win 7 install DVD or a Win 7 System Repair CD. It has no trouble booting from other bootable CDs (not sure about other bootable DVDs). It boots from a Win XP install CD or various Linux boot CDs so the problem doesn't appear to be the drive itself.

The Win 7 install DVD and System Repair CD both work fine on other machines.

Does anyone have any ideas why this machine can't seem to boot Win 7 from DVD or CD?

I got Win 7 installed on the machine by other means (long story) and it boots Win 7 from the hdd fine so it's not that it can't handle Win 7 itself.

It bugs me that I can't boot from these disks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2011   #2
TechWizard86

Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 RC 1 64 bit
 
 

I think I can help on this. Your old Dell doesn't have the system requirements that are required to run Setup. You have to have at least 512 Megabytes of ram for setup to run at all.

Windows 7 system requirements - Microsoft Windows

This link will tell you about the system requirements for running Windows 7 at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #3
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Thanks for the response but it isn't failing setup, it refuses to boot or even recognize that there is bootable media present so it never starts setup. The machine is a 1Ghz P3 with 512M RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2011   #4
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

You need a new type DVD/CD drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #6
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
You need a new type DVD/CD drive.
I installed a new DVD drive and the latest BIOS but it made no difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #7
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Yes, I got it installed and working but now I'm trying to understand why it can't boot from Win 7 media, regardless of whether it is a DVD or a CD. I'd really like to understand why.

In case anyone is interested, I installed the hdd in another machine and installed Win 7 there. Then I used the sysprep /generalize command to remove the machine specific stuff. After that I installed the hdd back in the old machine and booted it, Win 7 installed all the required drivers and I had a working machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #8
gregrocker

 

That's what I do when I run out of time to troubleshoot problem installs. Congrats on nice work.

Did you try the one-time BIOS boot menu key to trigger DVD?

Try writing the installer ISO to flash stick using UltraISO trial: On File tab select Open DVD, on Bootable tab select Write Disk Image, Format, Write. Boot under USB or HD's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #9
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

This machine's BIOS is so old it doesn't support USB as a boot device. One of the first things I tried was an external USB DVD drive but there's no boot option for it. Once the machine boots it can use the USB drive, just can't boot from it.

I appreciate the alternative install method suggestions but I am trying to understand what is different about Win 7 media that this machine can't boot from it yet can boot other install disks fine.

More info: I just stuck a Vista install DVD in the drive and rebooted, I got prompted "Press any key to boot from CD:", pressed Enter and it booted into Vista setup fine. Removed the Vista DVD, put in a Win 7 DVD and rebooted, no prompt to boot from CD, went straight to hdd and booted from there.

There must be something unique about the Win 7 boot media.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #10
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

If I have time over the weekend, I'll dig out a P3, & test.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Installing Win 7 on old Dell P3




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